Professionals need professional organizations

It is with pleasure that I pen my first column as the President of the Computer Society of Sri Lanka (CSSL).

The CSSL was established in 1976 in Sri Lanka to promote Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and professionalism among those in this field, and to maintain the highest professional standards among the ICT professionals.

CSSL has played this role for over 40 years and is the apex body for ICT professionals in Sri Lanka. It is a not-for-profit body. The CSSL is best known in Sri Lanka for hosting the National IT Conference (NITC) which provides a platform for national and international speakers to present papers.

CSSL also organizes the National Schools’ Software Competition (NSSC) as well as the popular IT MasterMind Television Quiz Show that is nationally televised on ITN. These activities have collectively lead to a surge in popularity for the CSSL and also for a renewed energy in driving large projects for building awareness and capacity.

The CSSL has a history of 40 years, an active presence and a bright future ahead. I take the responsibility for this organization with great pride but also while understanding the challenges of the role. However, I am confident of delivering results for the organization, industry and our country at large given that I am not alone in this journey.

The CSSL council members include - President Yasas Vishuddhi Abeywickrama, Vice President W. K. Prabath Samindra, Secretary Damith Hettihewa, Treasurer Dr. Ajantha Athukorala, Asst. Secretary Dr. Malitha Wijesundara, Asst. Treasurer Parakum Amaranga Pathirana, Student Counselor Dr. T. A. Samantha Thelijjagoda, Publication Secretary Enosh Praveen, Council Member Dr. Dayan Rajapakse, Council Member Heshan Karunaratne, Council Member BuddhikaSenasekara and Council Member, Sajith Sameera.

In addition to the council members, CSSL has an active secretariat with able staff members, our partners, sponsors, fellow members, past presidents, past council members, Professional Members, Associate Members, and Student Members, which makes us very strong.

The CSSL is the apex body for Information Communications Technology (ICT) Professionals in Sri Lanka - the representative and the voice of ICT Professionals.

The industry has grown exponentially over the last few years and we have broad engagements to be developed. We will have new strategies in place to achieve that. Being the voice of IT professionals gives us the challenge of being with them all the time, and having them represented aptly. Working through our corporate supporters, universities, and by developing more channels of active engagement and inclusion, we hope to develop this.

The CSSL always has been an active organization. That has to continue. As the industry has grown into a high tech one over the recent years, there are niches that we need to deliver value to. That activeness will be enriched under the leadership of the new council.

A vast range of activities from large conferences to CSSL Tech Talks will help in that. I can vouch that some of our activities this year are going to be really big. Let’s leave it at that but watch this space!

We give recognition for IT Professionals in Sri Lanka. By being one of our members, a qualified and experienced person gets the stamp of being a Professional. There is no other way to get that other than being a member of the professional organization of one’s industry.

We would work more on educating our IT professionals of this global fact. The CSSL is already recognized locally and globally by various organizations for its work, status, processes and standards. we will give leadership to enhance this recognition in the coming year. We are especially working on some broader international recognition on our standards.

One reason why a professional would need a professional organization is the knowledge it provides to its membership, related to their sector. We are in discussions with several parties right now to enhance the knowledge we provide and make knowledge available for our valued members.

This will include some cutting edge knowledge platforms internationally, and am truly passionate and excited about the potential we have in this area.

We also believe a professional society has to be vocal and present. This includes communicating what it does but also includes communicating what it stands for and its opinions.

The presence of CSSL was developed over the last few years under the leadership of my predecessors and I hope to really strengthen this area.

As we develop the Sri Lankan services sector to the level of global standards and also gear it up to meet the local and global expectations, we would have helped develop the human resources to achieve that.

This is what CSSL offers the IT industry in Sri Lanka, as the industry increases its current export revenue from 1 billion USD to 5 billion USD in 2022.

The broad vision of CSSL has been elaborated here and in our future columns we would explain on our initiatives. Readers are welcome to share their ideas or opinions for developing the sector.

This will help us in devising our strategies and also being more relevant for our professionals.

Yasas Vishuddhi Abeywickrama

President, Computer Society of Sri Lanka 

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